The most common question we get at CNET is, "what should I buy?" Unfortunately, instead of just spitting out a product name, that question usually forces us to follow-up with our own questions--how much do you want to spend, what features are important, and so on. However, last year when people asked "which audiovisual receiver should I buy", we actually had a pretty simple answer: the Onkyo TX-SR605. At $400, it was right in the "budget" sweet spot, and it included more next-generation features--such as onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and analog upconversion--than any other receiver in its price class. Unless you were looking to spend a lot more money, the TX-SR605 was by far the best value.
So which AV receiver should you buy in 2008? Well, it's not that easy this year.… Read more
When Onkyo released the budget TX-SR605 AV receiver last year, it rocked the industry with its low price and high-end features such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio decoding. Other manufacturers pretty much had to stay on the sidelines as TX-SR605s flew off the shelf, but it looks as if Sony is ready to fight back with its new line of budget AV receivers. The company's 2008 line of AV receivers includes four new affordably priced models--the STR-DG520, STR-DG720, STR-DG820 and STR-DG920--and they look pretty good from the spec sheet. Here are the details:
Key features of the Sony STR-DG520:5.1 channels, 100 watts of power Two HDMI inputs Supports 1080p pass-through at 60 and 24 frames per second Available in March for about $200
Step-up features on the STR-DG720:7.1 channels, 105 watts of power Three HDMI inputs… Read more